These days just about every businesses seems to be blogging for all they’re worth. But, why are they doing it and is it worth the bother?
Ten years ago, most people had never even heard the word blog (a blend word derived from joining together “web” and “log”). These days “blog” is as much part of everyday parlance as another well-known blend word “Brexit” (let’s not even go there).
Businesses are encouraged to blog regularly. It is rare these days to visit a website that doesn’t have a blog. In my work as a copywriter I am increasingly being asked to write blogs for people. A lot of people are putting a lot of effort into blogging
In my opinion, blogs are definitely worth the bother providing you ask yourself three key questions:
- Why am I doing it?
- Who am I talking to?
- What do I want to say?
If you’re familiar with the principles of marketing, you’ll know that these are the questions you should be asking yourself in relation to any communications activity. This is why.
The why question
Do you know what the purpose of your blog is? It’s important to know because it will determine what you write about and how you write. For example, you might want to:
- position yourself as an authority in your particular field
- reassure customers or end users that you know what you are talking about
- drive people to your website or to sign up for your newsletter
- build stronger relationships with end users
- create content to use in social media
- attract new customers
- offer an insight into how your business works and what makes you so great
The who question
You need to know who you are talking to. It is OK to have primary and secondary audiences but it’s good to be clear who they are before you start. For example, if you’re a hospital the primary audience for your blog might be patients but you may also have a secondary goal of showing your CCG how you are improving communications with patients. Knowing who your audiences are will ensure you use the right language and tone. If you’re talking to patients, for example, you will need to use everyday language and avoid being overly clinical.
The what question
Once you know who you’re talking to and why you’re doing it, you can decide what you are going to talk about. A good way to start is to draw up a list of blog topics that your target audience might be interested in. Think about the questions that customers or end users often ask you. Ask yourself, too, how often you feel able to commit to doing a blog. It’s not great to start a blog and then do nothing for months (ahem, guilty as charged. Do as I say not as I do!). It’s better if you can commit to doing one a month or one a week and stick to it. And, who will write the blog? Will someone in the organisation write it or will you ask a professional writer to do it for you based on the topics you choose?
Used well, blogs can be hugely beneficial. They are a platform to share your thoughts, ideas and passions. They can help you to build relationships with end users and build awareness of what you do. They can provide useful content to share on your website and social media.
If you’d like to know more about blogging – how to do it, what makes a good blog, how to choose your blog themes, how to engage readers, the style and tone, and so on, sign up for my newsletter. I’ll be giving regular content writing tips and also developing short, invaluable ebooks for anyone who needs to know how to write great content.
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